Advocating for Civil Society and Philanthropy

How YOU can mobilize a social movement

ISBN: 978-1-7923-3140-4
By: Phillips, Ken, et al.


As the culminating book in Ken's Civil Society Series, Advocating for Civil Society and Philanthropy builds on his previous five books which have covered stepping up to leadership and fundamental fundraising principles; strategic planning with strong values and energizing culture; 25 proven strategies for fundraising success; top-level ethics and learning to earn the trust of donors; and governance, management and teamwork for effectiveness. This book provide 'how to' guidance' for individuals, groups and associations to create a movement in a chosen problem and lead others to make improvements. It is based on Ken's 55 years of experience and learning from his working with small and large NGOs and with new community organizations. He draws on the views of youth about what needs to be done and how to do it. This is a book for people to use where they live, work, and play - and in their own families - to make a better world.


Ken Phillips

I have 55 years of experience fundraising, managing, leading, and consulting with nonprofits, and it all started with AIESEC. Founded in 1948 to promote peace and international understanding, AIESEC is a youth-led international exchange organization that works through university committees and international exchanges. AIESEC changed my life, determined my career, and made me who I am. AIESEC showed me that young people can take action to make this a better world! If youth can do that, YOU can too whatever age you have! This is the basis of this book on civil society and social movements. I joined AIESEC as a student at Princeton University in 1960, raised two offers of traineeships at American companies for students from other countries, had my own traineeship and lived in Switzerland, and was then elected Local Committee President of AIESEC-Princeton. The next year in graduate school, I founded and was Local Committee President for AIESEC-Michigan … and the next year (1964) chaired and raised the money for the National AIESEC-US Conference for 200 students in Ann Arbor, MI. At that meeting, I was elected National President of AIESEC-US and reelected in 1965. During these two years, we expanded the local committees at universities to 72 from 47 and, with our leadership, the leaders and members at the member committees increased the number of traineeship offers in the US for students from other countries to 525 from 362. As an organization based on a strategy of reciprocity (‘raise one, get one’), we also increased the number of Americans getting traineeship offers in other countries to 525. At the age of 25, I was the leader of this youth organization that enabled more than 1,000 students that year to live in another country and work as an intern in a foreign company. In the midst of the cold war, our purpose was to save the world for freedom, democracy, and free enterprise through the international exchange of young leaders. It was a life changing experience, driven by a powerful vision for a better world! For the next three years I was elected to the Executive Board of AIESEC International. We worked closely with youth committees in five continents including South Africa where we demanded an integrated membership (where the general rule was apartheid) and Communist countries (where we could). In addition to supporting and guiding the Secretary General, I traveled to support AIESEC in Canada, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Switzerland, and Hungary and Yugoslavia (two Communist countries). I had the experience of serving as AIESEC’s official Representative to the United Nations Economic and Social Council in New York. We organized a pace-setting “Education for International Business Conference” for business, academic, and student leaders in Lausanne, Switzerland. After raising funding for that conference, I received a Ford Foundation grant to attend. Through my involvement as a youth leader, I learned so much about leadership, strategy, mentoring, and getting things done! As an alumnus, I continued to support AIESEC and its various alumni activities. Recently I initiated a fundraising project to recruit 70 alumni as Ambassadors who contribute €1,000 and invite others to join too. In 2019, I was honored to receive the AIESEC Peacebuilder Award for “Contributions to AIESEC’s Vision of Peace and Fulfillment of Humankinds Potential as leadership trainer, civil society strategist, and writer.” My career goes from President of AIESEC-US to Coordinator of Project Development at the Institute of International Education, Fundraising Vice President at Save the Children US, President and Executive Director at Foster Parents Plan, Board Chair at InterAction, Head of Organization Development at the International Red Cross Federation, and for 25 years training and consulting with NGO leaders in leadership, management, and fundraising on five continents. As a volunteer, I led or created neighborhood associations in community improvement, affordable housing, and environmental action. The books in my “Civil Society Series” are all about making this a better world and how individuals can make the difference. The first book “Make a Better World: A practical guide” is about stepping up to leadership when you are not the boss and the fundamental principles of fundraising. The next four books are “Strategic Planning and Culture for Nonprofits: Clear and doable steps” “25 Proven Strategies for Fundraising Success: How to win the support of donors” “Ethics and Learning for Trustworthiness: Two essential priorities” “Governance, Management, and Teams: Working together for effectiveness” With a BA in Humanities from Princeton, an MA in Literature from Michigan, and an MA in Economics from New York University, I can still say that my best education was as a youth leader. To see more, go to